By Andy Young
While the impact of US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership is still to be fully understood, Australian wine exports are in a strong position with value growth in 2016.
In 2016 the value of Australian wine exports grew by seven per cent to $2.22bn and the average value grew by six per cent to $2.96 per litre free-on-board (FOB). That is the highest average value since 2009, according to the Wine Australia Export Report December 2016, which was released this morning.
The growth in both these metrics has been driven by bottled exports, particularly those at higher price points. Overall bottled exports increased by 10 per cent to $1.8bn, while the average value of bottled exports increased by five per cent to $5.48 per litre FOB.
Wine Australia CEO Andreas Clark said: “Last year, Australia’s most premium wines took centre stage. Our highest priced wines ($10 or more per litre FOB) achieved record value in 2016, up an impressive 19 per cent to $574 million. This increase was driven by demand across all of our major export markets but particularly in the Northeast Asia region.
“In another promising sign that we’re starting to see commercial benefits from an improved perception and increasing demand for our finest wines, the majority of Australian wine exporters (70 per cent) saw value growth in 2016.
“We are maintaining the momentum early in the year with some of our biggest annual events where we partner with many Australian wineries and exporters, including the Australia Day Tasting series in the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland, trade tastings in the US and Canada, master classes across China, a significant Australian wine presence at ProWein in March and our major partnership with Tourism Australia for the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, taking place in Melbourne in April.”
Exports to the US were up by three per cent to $458m, driven by a rise in the average value of bottled wine exports, up by nine per cent to $3.95 per litre FOB. Earlier this week, TheShout reported that the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia’s Chief Executive Tony Battaglene called on the Governments that are still part of the TPP to try and push ahead with the TPP, with or without the US.
The WFA has said that the US was not a massive market within the TPP and that it was important to look at other export markets such as Canada, Malaysia and Vietnam as well as emerging markets like Mexico and Peru.
In 2016, bulk wine exports declined by two per cent to $400m, soft-pack exports fell by five per cent to $14m and exports in alternative packaging such as PETs decreased by 11 per cent to $4m.
Exports priced $10 and more per litre FOB were up in all of Australia’s top five markets except Hong Kong; mainland China by 47 per cent, the US by 23 per cent, the UK by 25 per cent and Canada by nine per cent. Hong Kong was down by 12 per cent.